Marketing VP for Bud Light Takes Sudden 'Leave of Absence' After Partnering With Trans Activist

Marketing VP for Bud Light Takes Sudden 'Leave of Absence' After Partnering With Trans Activist

A marketing executive at Bud Light, who faced criticism for a partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, announced a leave of absence.

Alissa Heinerscheid, VP of marketing at Bud Light, will be replaced by Budweiser global marketing VP Todd Allen, according to parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev, Ad Age reported.

The decision is reportedly part of a shuffling of staff in which “senior marketers are more closely connected to every aspect of our brand’s activities,” said a company spokesperson.

This move comes after a controversy that started several weeks ago, in which Dylan Mulvaney, a male who identifies as a female, was tapped to become involved in a Bud Light marketing campaign. The company had sent Mulvaney a custom can with his face on it, as seen in Instagram posts marking “day 365 of womanhood.”

The backlash was immediate and intense once people figured out that it wasn’t a joke.

The controversy surrounding the marketing campaign led to criticism of  Heinerscheid, with some pointing to an interview in which she referred to Bud Light’s “out of touch” and “fratty” image. Not long afterward, photos published by The Daily Caller showed her drinking beer in a setting that could be considered “fratty.”

The statement released by Anheuser-Busch InBev, reported by Ad Age on Friday, did not mention Dylan Mulvaney nor offer an apology to any offended customers. However, the company stated that it is taking steps that “will help us maintain focus on the things we do best: brewing great beer for all consumers, while always making a positive impact in our communities and on our country.”

Among the outraged over the Mulvaney partnership were country music stars Travis Tritt and John Rich. Meanwhile, Kid Rock posted a video showing him using an automatic weapon to blast cases of the beer. “F*** Bud Light,” the rock star said at the end. “And f*** Anheuser-Busch. Have a terrific day.”

Anheuser-Busch, facing calls for a boycott, released a statement from CEO Brendan Whitworth in an attempt to assuage its critics. The statement, which did not contain an apology nor mention Dylan Mulvaney, was accompanied by a pro-America advertisement showcasing one of Budweiser’s famous Clydesdale horses galloping across the United States.

Anheuser-Busch has reported threats made against its facilities amidst the backlash, according to a statement provided to CNN. The White House also issued a statement condemning the “violence and vitriol” directed towards transgender Americans, the Daily Wire reported.

A company spokesperson noted in the latest statement that “we made it clear that the safety and welfare of our employees and our partners is our top priority.”


Join the Newsletter